Tucson prepared for fiscal cliff deadline - Tucson News Now

Tucson prepared for fiscal cliff deadline

While city officials will not be happy about falling off the fiscal cliff, they will be prepared if it happens.

For the past several months, city leaders have been talking about how they will be impacted if Washington's leaders fail to break the budget impasse.

"We've said for the past six months around here, we're going forward with our planning and process for our budget next year," Tucson's Mayor Jonathan Rothschild says. "But if something dramatic comes out of Washington, we're going to plan B."

That means budgets would be reconfigured and services likely adjusted to make room for cuts.

Government subsidized housing, which is getting very little attention in the Washington talks, has been a topic here.

If those cuts go into effect, it will have a ripple effect throughout the city budget.

The city is concerned about the number of people who will lose their housing and what effect that might have on other services.

"If sequestration goes into effect as proposed, we're looking at 400 people out on the streets," he says. People "who are now demanding social services they didn't need before."

If the proposed cuts, called sequester, go into effect, it will also cut the defense budget by 10%.

Tucson is considered a defense industry town. With Fort Huachuca just to the South east, Davis Monthan in the middle of the city and with Raytheon one of the country's biggest defense contractors, a cut that large will be felt.

"So if we see a scalpel approach to reductions in spending from Washington, it's going to have a disproportionate effect here in Tucson," Rothschild says.

Tucson also has a high poverty rate, the sixth highest in the nation.

If Congress doesn't reach an agreement, payroll taxes go up automatically by 2%.

While that's not a lot of money, although it will hurt some more than others, it's the fear it causes that could do some harm.

Numbers which will be released in January, will show Tucson is recovering from the Great Recession a bit better than much of the nation.

It will show a 1 1/2% drop in unemployment last year and a nearly 6% increase in sales tax revenues.

For a city where the recovery has been going in the right direction but still tenuous, it causes concern in the Mayor's office.

He believes the perception that things are not going well would be enough to make Tucsonans think twice before making some purchases.

The mayor says he has confidence that "common sense will prevail" but that's not assured.

And with Tucson sitting on the verge of a good economic recovery, anything that threatens that is cause for concern.  

One of the things that will likely not be touched is public safety, which remains the top priority for city leaders.

But with jobs increasing and revenues moving in the right direction, cuts of any kind will hurt.

"We have additional concerns because of the fact we've been reliant on government funds so long," he says.

Copyright 2012 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • APP EXTRA: Sights and sounds from the Trump rally, protests in Phoenix

    APP EXTRA: Sights and sounds from the Trump rally, protests in Phoenix

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 9:07 PM EDT2017-08-24 01:07:02 GMT
    (Source: Tucson News Now)(Source: Tucson News Now)

    Protests erupted outside President Trump's rally in Phoenix on Tuesday night. While the protests were mostly peaceful, four people were arrested after some in the crowd lashed out at police.

    Protests erupted outside President Trump's rally in Phoenix on Tuesday night. While the protests were mostly peaceful, four people were arrested after some in the crowd lashed out at police.

  • Strong storm downs trees in midtown

    Strong storm downs trees in midtown

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 9:00 PM EDT2017-08-24 01:00:39 GMT
    (Source: Tucson News Now)(Source: Tucson News Now)

    A strong storm moved through midtown Tuesday night August 22, and brought down several trees. One tree fell on building 7 at the Talavera Apartments at Flowing Wells Road and Rodger Rd. 

    A strong storm moved through midtown Tuesday night August 22, and brought down several trees. One tree fell on building 7 at the Talavera Apartments at Flowing Wells Road and Rodger Rd. 

  • Chicken skewers recalled due to possible listeria contamination

    Chicken skewers recalled due to possible listeria contamination

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 8:57 PM EDT2017-08-24 00:57:27 GMT
    (Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service)(Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service)

    Expresco Foods, Inc., a Montreal, Quebec business is voluntarily recalling the products after FSIS import inspectors discovered the problem during a routine inspection of foreign shipments. 

    Expresco Foods, Inc., a Montreal, Quebec business is voluntarily recalling the products after FSIS import inspectors discovered the problem during a routine inspection of foreign shipments. 

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Mother charged with killing teenage daughter

    Mother charged with killing teenage daughter

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 6:50 AM EDT2017-08-23 10:50:33 GMT
    Wednesday, August 23 2017 6:50 AM EDT2017-08-23 10:50:33 GMT

    Burned remains found on the mother’s farm were identified as those of her 16-year-old daughter, who she gave up for adoption when she was a baby.

    Burned remains found on the mother’s farm were identified as those of her 16-year-old daughter, who she gave up for adoption when she was a baby.

  • Solicitor: Suspect in deadly Conway bank robbery to face two counts of murder, other charges

    Solicitor: Suspect in deadly Conway bank robbery to face two counts of murder, other charges

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 6:21 PM EDT2017-08-23 22:21:40 GMT
    Front: Brandon Council (Source: Conway Police), Background: The scene in Greenville, NC where Council was apprehended. (Source: WITN reporter Lynnette Taylor's Facebook Live)Front: Brandon Council (Source: Conway Police), Background: The scene in Greenville, NC where Council was apprehended. (Source: WITN reporter Lynnette Taylor's Facebook Live)

    The person of interest in the double-murder and bank robbery in Conway on Monday is in custody. Brandon MIchael Council was arrested in Greenville, North Carolina Wednesday, along with two other people, authorities there confirmed.  Brandon Michael Council was wanted for questioning in connection with the murder of two CresCom bank employees during a bank robbery at the CresCom Bank in Conway on Monday afternoon.

    The person of interest in the double-murder and bank robbery in Conway on Monday is in custody. Brandon MIchael Council was arrested in Greenville, North Carolina Wednesday, along with two other people, authorities there confirmed.  Brandon Michael Council was wanted for questioning in connection with the murder of two CresCom bank employees during a bank robbery at the CresCom Bank in Conway on Monday afternoon.

  • Police: Mass shooting at gender reveal party was 'in no way random'

    Police: Mass shooting at gender reveal party was 'in no way random'

    Tuesday, August 22 2017 1:10 PM EDT2017-08-22 17:10:56 GMT
    (Cheyanne Willis/Facebook)(Cheyanne Willis/Facebook)

    The Colerain Township woman who said she lost her unborn child during a mass shooting that left 8 injured and one dead was not pregnant, police announced Monday. 

    The Colerain Township woman who said she lost her unborn child during a mass shooting that left 8 injured and one dead was not pregnant, police announced Monday. 

Powered by Frankly